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Fatima Haidari: Shattering Stereotypes, Embracing Opportunities, and Pursuing Dreams as Afghanistan's First Female Tour Guide.

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

In this episode of Tough Girl Podcast, we explore the incredible journey of Fatima, from her early years in Afghanistan to her pursuit of education, independence, and empowerment in Italy.

Fatima's childhood was marked by challenges, but her curiosity and determination to learn led her to secretly educate herself. As Afghanistan's first female tour guide, she defied expectations and empowered herself economically.

Threatened by the Taliban, Fatima made the courageous decision to flee to Italy, where she faced new obstacles but persisted in pursuing higher education. Now, as a refugee with a passion for sharing her experiences, she continues to inspire others as a unique tour guide.

Fatima's story is a testament to the power of resilience and the unwavering spirit of women. Tune in to Tough Girl Podcast to hear her journey firsthand.


Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

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Listen to Fatima Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Fatima

  • Studying in Italy and working as a tour guide

  • Her early years in Afghanistan

  • Having 4 older brothers and 2 older sisters

  • Working with the sheep as a shepherdess at age 7 

  • Not having school and not being able to study 

  • Being inspired by hearing people on the radio 

  • How her curiosity grew and her desire to learn more 

  • Starting to learn secretly 

  • Practicing her reading and writing in the sand

  • Being able to go to school and study

  • Thinking about her own future 

  • Witnessing the suffering of women in Afghanistan

  • Wanting to live for herself

  • Wanting to be independent and the person of her choice

  • Becoming Afghanistan’s first female tour guide

  • Graduating high school and wanting to go to University to become a journalist 

  • Convincing her mother first

  • Researching the history of Afghanistan

  • Making a Facebook account and connecting with people who travel and how that connection led to her tourist work

  • Untamed Borders - an adventure travel company providing unparalleled access to some of the world’s most interesting and inaccessible places. 

  • Being able to earn more than her brothers and help to support her family

  • Wanting to encourage more women to enter the tourist industry in Afghanistan 

  • Sharing her story on CNN 

  • Her journey to Italy 

  • Receiving warning that she was a target of the Taliban 

  • Not being able to say a proper goodbye to her family 

  • The challenges of getting into the airport to get on the plane

  • Moving to Italy and building a new life 

  • Feeling mentally and physically lost and struggling to sleep

  • Dealing with the aftermath and reliving the trauma

  • Deciding to make changes in her life; getting a job, sorting out a university place, reading books and focusing on improving herself 

  • Her passion for continuing her education and getting accepted with a fully funded scholarship to study at University in Milan (BA in International Politics and Government)

  • Being a refugee and having travel documents which allows her travel in Europe

  • Visiting Iran and meeting up with her family

  • Continuing to be a tour guide in a unique way

  • How to connect with Fatima

  • Her reason for wanting to travel to every country in the world. 

  • Final words of advice 

  • “You are powerful as a woman, don’t underestimate your power.”


Social Media

Instagram: @fatima.haidari786 


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